Chinese student farms pigs for inflation profits

CHINA - A student who gave up university to farm pigs has become an emblem of China’s fear that its long boom is at risk from inflation and the crisis in the international economy.
calendar icon 10 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Wang Chao has discovered he can make more from farming than if he had graduated from university

Wang Chao, a 22-year-old who lives in Jingyang near Xi’an, gave up his college place, normally the dearest ambition of Chinese families, hoping to profit from a surge in inflation that is frightening politicians worldwide.

Big price rises in staple foods – and, above all, pork, the nation’s favourite meat – mean that the once-poor rural economy is in some cases outstripping that of the educated urban elite.

"I can sell one pig for 1,200 yuan or even 1,300 [more than £80]," he said.

"The people I knew who graduated from my course were earning 1,500 a month."

China’s rising inflation is a symptom, with the credit crisis in world banking markets, of what economists fear might be the end of a financial "golden era".

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